Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters except for the new ones that I created like Hope.
Author's Note: Extremely sorry for taking so long to update this story but I just got so busy writing the others that this one just got pushed back. I'm going to have about three to five chapters done before I post any of them. Once again sorry for the wait and I hope that you all love this story as much as the previous two in this trilogy…of sorts.
CHAPTER 1-WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN
She rolled over in bed and unintentionally shoved him off and over the edge. Even though the bed was a king sized one Wesley had woken up more than once lying on the hardwood floor of their bedroom. Faith had picked the house out, mostly because it had a large backyard, something that she said would be perfect for a growing family. But when questioned about that she had changed the subject. It was less than a year after Hope had been born, and only three weeks after the end of the appeal process for the news reporter after she had lost the initial trial, when Faith had slipped a note into one of Wesley's books that nearly made him choke on his lunch later that day. He had left work that day and rushed home to find Faith just putting Hope down for a nap. She had given birth to Dominic several months later and once again Angel and Cordelia were named as godparents. Cordelia had been ecstatic but the birth of his second godchild had only served to further remind Angel just how impossible his situation with Cordelia seemed.
To a degree the birth of not one but two children had mellowed Faith out a bit. She still went out at night, although certainly not every night and she would only dance alone. One night she had come home with a fair amount of blood on her blouse, later revealing that it was from a man that hadn't taken her first no for an answer. Luckily for most others Faith had been able to calm her temper and act civilly, except when her children came into play. She wasn't one to make anyone include her children in anything unless she felt that they were being excluded. In fact on one night when Dominic was only a few days old one of the orderly's had made a crack about how he thought that Dominic's head was a bit big and Faith had put him in a headlock and nearly popped his head off before Wesley and Angel had managed to calm her down. Not wanting to sit still Faith had, with Wesley's help, returned to school via correspondence and after much effort had successfully passed enough tests to get her G.E.D. She had thought about taking some college classes but she decided that Hope and Dominic took precedence at this point in her life, marveling that she herself was no longer her main focus in life and it truly didn't bother her.
"Faith…not again," Wesley groaned with a still half asleep look on his face, keeping his voice low so that he wouldn't wake up either Hope or Dominic, as he pushed himself up and off of the hardwood floor and back into bed.
"Sorry…don't know my own strength," Faith mumbled softly into her pillow as Wesley slid back underneath the covers and she rolled over so that her head was resting on his shoulder.
"No…you don't," Wesley mumbled back in reply before he yawned deeply and joined his wife in a peaceful slumber, at least for another hour before Dominic would wake up balling his full head off and get both of them up hours early for the day ahead.
Oz rummaged around in the glove box, looking for his sunglasses. The day had dawned a tad overly bright and sunny for someone with enhanced vision and he was already running late. He had agreed to meet Willow at work an hour early to discuss a recent rash of deaths that seemed to be mystical in nature. Only the night before had been the last night of the full moon cycle and he had slept in a bit to long. He had tried to meditate and refrain from transforming into a werewolf but the day had been to stressful and he had been unable to stay calm. He had barely been able to make it to the cage in the basement of his house when the transformation had overtaken him.
"You're late," Willow said with an unimpressed frown on her face as Oz walked into the squad room and dropped his things onto his desk. The new unit had been given an entire wing of the newly built police headquarters, partially due to the fact that there were few of the other officers that wanted anything to do with the demons and other creatures that were brought in nearly every night. Angel had helped make sure that each of the cells had been properly designed to contain a wide array of demons and vampires and others. Willow and others had spent months casting spell after spell on the wing of the jail, hoping to leave no magical stone unturned or uncovered so that anything or anyone could use it to escape.
"I had a bad night," Oz mumbled back with a tired yawn as he walked away from his desk and towards the full pot of coffee.
"That's the third one this week, anything you want to talk about," Willow offered up with a concerned tone to her voice as she sat up in her chair and laid the report that she had been reading down onto her desk.
"Not really, so how did Tara like the new daycare lady," Oz mumbled back through another yawn as he poured himself a full cup of coffee and lightly leaned onto the counter.
"She seemed fine when I left, but ever since I've been this close to racing over there and picking her up, is it supposed to be this hard to leave her with someone else for the day," Willow replied with a shrug of her own shoulders as she tried her best to appear calm before the worry and fear in her heart crept in and Oz did his best to keep from smiling. Tara's birth had gone smoothly and ever since that day Willow had mothered her endlessly, nearly flying off the handle the first time that she had gotten an infection.
"Yeah…I think so, especially given that her new babysitter isn't a member of any witches coven or a good friend of ours," Oz shot back with a warm smile on his face as he twirled the promise ring around on the ring finger on his right hand. It wasn't a wedding ring, something that he had decided that he would probably never get, but when it came to Willow it was about as close to one as they were ever going to get. Not wanting to try and get her to drastically change her lifestyle they had agreed to live together and raise their daughter together but had agreed that if anyone special came along for either that they wouldn't stand in the way. That day had been shortly before Tara's birth. Neither had been out on a date since Willow's seventh month of pregnancy. Neither would talk about it but their had been an unwritten bet going around the office that the two were now stuck together forever.
"I don't know, I still think that we should have asked Buffy if," Willow started to wonder with a deep in though look on her face before Oz walked over and stopped her with a hand on hers.
"Buffy and Spike have their own troubles with Joyce remember, she's still having problems sleeping through the night," Oz reminded her with a warm smile on his face before he took a sip of coffee and sat down at his desk across from her as their desks faced each other.
"Well what do they suspect with the hours that they keep, a mother who's used to being up all day and asleep all night and a father who's used to being asleep all day and awake all night, the poor girl can't make up her mind," Willow grumbled back with an unhappy pout on her face as she sat back in her seat and crossed her arms, staring off into space in the process.
"That's not exactly true Willow, neither one of them keep what one would call…normal hours, Joyce will just need some more time and she'll be fine, trust me," Oz countered with a joking grin on his face as he sat up in his seat and set his coffee cup down onto a coaster that Willow had insisted that he use.
"I hope you're right, now though we should get down to business, we've had five deaths in the last two weeks, all of them mysterious and more than likely with supernatural killers," Willow said with a forced look of calm on her face as she pulled a couple of files from her in pile and handed them across the desks to Oz, who took one long sip of coffee and then opened them up. Inside were pictures of dead bodies, not something that was out of the ordinary. But what he found odd about the pictures was that each and every one of them didn't appear to have a scratch on them, in fact they looked like the definition of healthy, if not for the whole being dead aspect.
"Cause of death," Oz asked casually as he began to flip through the many pictures and glance at their names and ages.
"That's the funny part Oz, the coroner couldn't find one, he said that from he could see there's no reason why these people aren't still alive," Kate said with a frustrated look on her face as she and Groo walked into the squad room and sat down.
"Do you think that the playpen would go better over by the window or…over there by the door," Cordelia asked with a very worried look on her face as she stood in the doorway of the small converted nursery with one hand on her hip and the thumb of her other hand between her teeth as she was beyond nervous. Instead of finding a babysitter Faith and Wesley had decided to take Angel's advice and bring Hope and Dominic with them to work. Angel had said that it would help them to save money but soon both had begun to believe that it was more that Angel wanted to see more of his godson and goddaughter. One night Faith had spied Angel using Cordelia's credit card to order several items for Hope and Dominic. She had very nearly blown his cover but had decided against it when she had seen how cute Hope was in the little pink dress that he had ordered for her. After that Cordelia had changed all of her credit card numbers and kept them where Angel couldn't find them.
"It's only a playpen Cordy, I doubt it really matters," Angel replied with a bored sigh as he stared at the pieces around him. He had sworn that he would put all of the toys together in the new nursery but he had gotten in on his head when he had ordered a miniature swing set and after putting it fully together found that he had a few extra pieces. But rather than read the directions or ask for help he had simply taken it entirely apart and set about it again.
"It matters a lot buster, if it's near the window then it could get drafty and that wouldn't be good for Hope or Dominic, but if it's near the door then someone might hit it on the way in," Cordelia countered with a very deep in thought look on her face as she continued to half chew on her thumb and look back and forth between the spot beside the door and the spot by the window.
"Why don't we just ask Wes and Faith, where are they anyway," Angel said back with a tired look on his face as he turned away from Cordelia so that she wouldn't see him roll his eyes at how much of a fuss she was putting up over a simple playpen.
"Because we're supposed to be helping to take some of the burden off of them, being parents is hard," Cordelia replied with a very serious look on her face as she took her thumb out of her mouth and lightly glared down at Angel.
"And you would know this how exactly," Angel asked with a sly grin on his face as he turned back to Cordelia before he closed his eyes tightly just moments before he was struck in the face by a pink and purple pillow from across the room.
"Funny Angel, real funny…Wes and Faith are downstairs in the training room with Hope and Dominic, trying to get a workout in," Cordelia said with a sarcastic frown on her face as she batted away Angel's weak attempt at throwing the pillow back at her before the two fell into a pointless argument.
"You've done well so far luv, but your luck is about to run out," Wesley said with a very determined and confident grin on his face as he slowly circled around Faith. She stood as still as a statue in the middle of a large circle, blindfolded, as she had to resort to using her other senses to defend herself. Hope and Dominic lay in a playpen several feet away and Hope watched her parents with giggles every time that Wesley landed hard on his back after Faith had blocked his attack, though Dominic was more interested in the mobile hanging overhead. Instead of the usual puppies and kitties Lorne had found them a mobile with small swords, clubs, and daggers all made out of a soft plastic that glinted brightly when a light was shown onto it.
"That's what you said the last five times Wes, and each and every time you wound up on your back, this time won't be any different," Faith shot back with a sly smirk on her face as she only moved her mouth.
"True…but this time will be," Wesley started to counter with an excited expression on his face as he rushed forward before Faith snapped into action, grabbing his arm and flipping him over her shoulder and down onto his back on the mat below, getting a gleeful giggle from Hope.
"And the crowd goes wild," Faith exclaimed loudly, with a slight bit of mocking in her voice, as she let go of Wesley's arms and looked like she was receiving a round of applause from a non existent crowd.
"Not for long," Wesley mumbled back with a sly grin on his face before he swept around in a kick, taking Faith's legs out from under her from behind as she fell hard on her back.
"Ow Wes…fu…," Faith grunted out in some pain as she grimaced a bit and then accepted Wesley's offer of help back up to her feet.
"See Hope, daddy got mommy good didn't he, now watch daddy…," Wesley started to say to his young daughter, whose attention was concentrated completely and totally on her parents, as he grabbed Faith's arm and tried to flip her over his shoulder, but she surprised him. Unfairly using her slayer strength Faith blocked Wesley's attempt at flipping her over and instead turned the move back onto him, flipping him once again over her shoulder and flat onto his back on the mat.
"See that Hope, mommy blocked daddy's attack and flipped him again…and now mommy's going to have to punish daddy," Faith said as she looked over at Hope and Dominic with an energized grin on her face, while still holding onto Wesley's arm, before she let his arm fall and leapt on top of him, straddling him.
"Now watch mommy and daddy…," Wesley started to say softly with a determined look on his face before Faith took their sparring session a different way and leant down and kissed him, not fighting back when he reached around and pulled her harder into the kiss.
"Scar my godson and goddaughter for life and give them nightmares that'll take years of therapy to work through," Cordelia interrupted with a mock look of disgust on her face as she stepped off of the bottom step and onto the mat covered floor. Faith growled her displeasure through the kiss before she sat up, still straddling Wesley, and turned to face the former cheerleader.
"Cordy," Faith mumbled with an unhappy pout on her face as she took in a deep breath and tried not to look like she wanted to strangle her.
"Hi Fred," Wesley added through exhaling a deep breath as he slightly nodded his head, but made no move to get Faith off of him.
"Hi…uh we're not interrupting anything important are we," Fred stammered out with an embarrassed and nervous smile on her face as she lingered on the bottom step.
"No…nothing important," Wesley softly replied with an anxious and awkward smile on his face as Faith cast him a quick glare before she stood up and walked over to get her towel, without offering him help back up to his feet.
"You sure," Fred asked with a nervous tone to her voice as she watched the exchange between Wesley and Faith with some trepidation.
"He's sure, so was there something actually important that you two wanted to talk to us about or did you just interrupt us for the hell of it," Faith demanded with an accusing edge to her voice as she picked up her towel and began to dab at the sweat on the back of her neck.
"Angel and I are getting the nursery together and wondered if you wanted the playpen near the door or near the window, it's pretty drafty near the window but by the door leaves it open to the possibility that someone will run into it if they forget that it's there," Cordelia replied with a cautious look on her face as she felt that she had to tread lightly with what she said given Faith's current disposition.
"Well Hope's already had a cold twice this year so it'd probably be best if you didn't put the playpen near the window, and since we don't usually rush into the nursery I believe that by the door will be best," Wesley answered with a thoughtful look on his face as he got back up to his feet, watching Faith the whole way, as she continued to use the towel to dry off.
"Faith…," Fred mumbled softly as she looked from Wesley to the former rogue slayer in hopes that she would agree and not become angry.
"He's right, the last thing we need is for Hope to get another cold, then Nicky will get one and I don't look forward to staying up all night with him like we had to do with Hope," Faith said back with a distant, but much more reserved and calm, look on her face as she set the towel down and half turned back to only briefly glance back at Fred and Cordelia.
"Okay, remember though tonight's the big policeman's ball, we've already told Willow and Oz that we're all coming so don't even think about backing out now, Gunn and Groo are going to pick up our dresses in an hour and I know how long it takes for you two to get ready so I thought that I'd be nice and give you a head start," Cordelia added with an optimistic and hopeful smile on her face as she looked back and forth between the couple and tried not to set them off.
"Fine, I smell like shi…I need a shower," Faith started to grumble back under her breath with a frustrated sigh on her face as she turned to pick up a fussing Dominic but stopped herself before she swore in front of her children, something that she had sworn never to do.
"Thank you Cordelia, and don't worry, we'll be ready on time for the ball, Faith has been looking forward to it for weeks and I can't wait to pull her out onto the dance floor and show her that there is a form of dancing besides…," Wesley started to say politely with a calm smile on his face as he walked over and picked up an eager Hope before briefly glancing over at Faith, who was busy using the edge of her towel to wipe away some drool off of Dominic's chin.
"We'll be there," Faith said with a calm but unhappy frown on her face as she turned around and headed up the stairs.
"Ah the joys of marriage," Wesley said with a cheesy grin and deep sigh before he shrugged his shoulders and nodded to first Fred and then Cordelia and followed Faith up the stairs and out to the car.
END OF CHAPTER ONE